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Next CBA likely will require plenty of teams to spend plenty of cash


When it comes to working out a new labor deal that entails the players taking a smaller piece of an ever-growing pie, one for the tools for persuading them to accept a per-dollar reduction arises from tightening the difference between the salary cap and salary floor — and converting the salary floor into an annual minimum cash expenditure.

The offer made by the owners on March 11 included a commitment to spend 90 percent of the salary cap in cash.  This would prevent teams from relying on “dead money” arising from trading or cutting players with large contracts in order to meet the minimum, and it would require all teams to spend a lot of money.

If this provision makes it into the final deal, it means that teams on the low side of the spending equation (and several were millions below what the cap floor would have been in 2010) will have to spend a lot of money in 2011.

That money could be spent via pursuing free agents, and there will be plenty of free agents available if, as expected, the minimum threshold moves from six year back to four.  Or it could be spent on young players already on the roster who merit extensions.

Either way, the cash will be flowing in 2011 — and the teams that have been holding back will need to find a way to bridge the gap.

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34 Responses to “Next CBA likely will require plenty of teams to spend plenty of cash”
  1. airraid77 says: Jun 15, 2011 3:04 PM

    Good! the bucs, bills, bengals will have to spend money, real, not just imaginary money…..

  2. pastorinisflak says: Jun 15, 2011 3:04 PM

    Ok ok, if it helps I’ll agree to take some money off their hands. Whatever helps, you know.

  3. tmc4real says: Jun 15, 2011 3:06 PM

    The previous CBA had language in it that would have had the salary floor/minimum at 90% of the cap. It was increasing at 1.2% per year and was at 88.8% in 2009.

    If the players want security, raising the floor gives them the best option.

  4. mushin9 says: Jun 15, 2011 3:07 PM

    Great news for KC who would need to sign Hali, flowers, carr, and bowe. Open the checkbook Clark.

  5. waldoampere says: Jun 15, 2011 3:08 PM

    In a related story, Bengals owner Mike Brown is being treated at a local hospital for severe panic attacks.

  6. rayvens says: Jun 15, 2011 3:08 PM

    Sounds like somthing Dan Snyder, Jerry Jones and Al Davis came up wit.

  7. bengalsown says: Jun 15, 2011 3:15 PM

    The Bengals have been near the top of the league when it comes to spending to the salary cap ever since their new stadium was constructed.

    I hate uninformed NFL fans…

  8. airraid77 says: Jun 15, 2011 3:20 PM

    you mean like the bucs offered haynesworth x amount of dollars?
    the bucs and a bunch of other like the bengals know how to manipulate money,
    the difference this time will be they will have to actually pay that much money out…not create number where that is all it is, which is what the bucs, bengals and some others have done.

  9. fonetiklee says: Jun 15, 2011 3:26 PM

    Hey bengalsown, I’ll just leave this here…

  10. rpiotr01 says: Jun 15, 2011 3:31 PM

    De Smith – the time has come to start spending money on players, not lawyers. Fire Kessler.

  11. larryed says: Jun 15, 2011 3:39 PM

    Whoo Hoo the Glazers have to open the Buc’s checkbook for a change!

  12. danerdane says: Jun 15, 2011 3:40 PM

    I heard that they’re calling this the Randy Moss clause “straight cash homey”.

  13. bigdawg24 says: Jun 15, 2011 3:40 PM

    Look for the KC Cheaps to secede from the NFL then…… I am sure they already have excuses built in by not having an off season on why they are going to suck next year.

  14. chris6523 says: Jun 15, 2011 3:44 PM

    This might be impossible for some teams to pull off. If a team is well over the salary cap and has to release some players with big contracts, they will end up with a lot of dead money. If there is a provision that says they have to spend at least 90% of the cap in straight cash, homey, the dead money might exceed the remaining 10% and put a team over the cap. Could make things complicated.

  15. ianwhetstone says: Jun 15, 2011 3:45 PM

    “The Bengals have been near the top of the league when it comes to spending to the salary cap ever since their new stadium was constructed.”

    I’m not sure where you’re getting this information, but I suspect that it’s off. I’m looking at some figures from the last three years (based on numbers that I keep myself), and the Bengals were handily the lowest cash spenders on player salaries in their division over that period:

    $368M Steelers
    $350M Browns
    $345M Ravens
    $307M Bengals

    Now, obviously that’s just a subset of the total data that you’re talking about, but I’m skeptical that the results would be much different if I expanded to look at all 32 teams over a longer span.

  16. micronin127 says: Jun 15, 2011 3:46 PM

    Not sure why the dead money accounting is viewed as phony. It does represent money spent, but not yet accounted for and it isn’t like it wouldn’t even out over a number of years.

    The most important thing is a firm salary cap floor so that all teams must spend a minimum so that we don’t have the equivalent of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NFL.

    If teams are forced to spend, then the rookie wage scale is less onerous because the money has to be spent and will thus go to established players.

    A rookie wage scale and a ‘standard rookie contract’ maximum 3 years for all rounds would allow teams to get all their rookies signed quickly and into camp this year. Year 4 rules of RFA tenders would apply. And after that only one franchise player per team per year.

    The draft pick compensation on RFA tenders has to come way down. No one will surrender a 1st and a 3rd for anyone, not even Pro Bowlers. And let’s hope they deal with the poison pill terms and conditions so that a decision to match an offer sheet doesn’t change the terms in any material way for the team that decides to match.

  17. ianwhetstone says: Jun 15, 2011 3:53 PM

    “This would prevent teams from relying on ‘dead money’ arising from trading or cutting players with large contracts in order to meet the minimum, and it would require all teams to spend a lot of money.”

    Well, presumably “dead money” would still count at some point… if not when the player is cut, then when it is originally paid out. Dead money results from real cash payout, so that cash is going to count towards a floor at some point or another, and rightly so.

    The big difference, I have to imagine, would come from eliminating unearned LTBE incentives as counting toward the salary floor at the end of the year. These amounts, often used to roll salary cap space over into the next year, are not tied to an actual cash payout (in that year or any other).

  18. joetoronto says: Jun 15, 2011 3:56 PM

    For sure, the KC Cheapskates and the San Diego DisChargers won’t be happy with this news.

  19. skoobyfl says: Jun 15, 2011 3:59 PM

    Ralph Wilson just turned over in his bed.

  20. 4gone says: Jun 15, 2011 4:12 PM

    If they would have set a salary cap for the lawyers, they’d have been out of the room a lot sooner.

  21. pocketsstraight says: Jun 15, 2011 4:23 PM

    in 2009, 28th
    in 2008, 20th
    in 2007, 21st
    in 2006, 4th
    in 2005, 25th
    in 2004, 20th
    in 2003, 4th
    in 2002, 24th
    in 2001, 4th
    in 2000, 18th

    I think you meant:
    “The Bengals have been near the top of the league [THREE TIMES] when it comes to spending to the salary cap ever since their new stadium was constructed…”
    And I would add:
    “And in the bottom third 60% of the time”

    I agree with you, “I hate uninformed NFL fans”

  22. pocketsstraight says: Jun 15, 2011 4:23 PM

    btw, my source was:

  23. fallcoon says: Jun 15, 2011 4:29 PM

    I am starting to hate Pro Football. No labor deal yet and no stadium deal for my team. No football related news out there. Just problems.

  24. stonedwhitetrash says: Jun 15, 2011 4:34 PM

    If barefoot hillbilly Jerry Jones can turn loose of the money why can’ the other owners?

  25. andyreidisfat says: Jun 15, 2011 4:36 PM

    I think its funny that people are just thinking about the really bad teams with this money thing. But the scary part is that teams like the Eagles and Packers will have to spend more money than they usally do. That means the number 1 and 2 teams in the NFC will HAVE to get even better if this provision is in the new CBA.

    IMO I like this. Its means a new contract for Djax is going to happen sooner rather than later. I think that will be the biggest difference with this new rule as younger players will get the big deal a lil bit sooner than they would have.

  26. notoriousjebus says: Jun 15, 2011 4:39 PM

    Isn’t Mike Brown spending like $10 million annually on salary for his relatives to staff the front office of the Bengals? I wonder if there will be a clause in the CBA that will allow for sponging relatives to count against the cap.

  27. footballfan292 says: Jun 15, 2011 4:41 PM

    The Bucs and Chiefs are going to have to go on a spending spree. They are already good teams. Imagine what they will be with some big free agents.

  28. ianwhetstone says: Jun 15, 2011 4:46 PM

    “But the scary part is that teams like the Eagles and Packers will have to spend more money than they usally do.”

    Well, those teams probably spend more than you think they do. The Packers in particular have been big spenders of late. They’ve spent about $377 million on player salaries over the last three years, more than any of those AFC North teams. (They spent a ton in particular last year, upwards of $156 million.) And the Eagles fell right around the middle, at $346 million.

  29. Justin says: Jun 15, 2011 4:56 PM

    This also could mean less action in Free Agency. I think if teams had to spend money the smart teams would do so in locking up acquired talent.

  30. frugalghidorah says: Jun 15, 2011 5:04 PM

    Whatever the floor is the Bucs will be there.

  31. jfrogwi says: Jun 15, 2011 5:24 PM

    I think if teams are going to be compelled to spend more money, they should be allowed to increase the size of the roster. Some teams may not want to overpay free agents just to meet the minimum, but would rather have a few more players to develop. I think the cap on roster sizes should be removed all together.

  32. polishkingski says: Jun 15, 2011 5:36 PM

    UH OH… wilson just soiled his diaper. for bills fans this is no big news. buddy nix hates spending cash in free agency so we can look foward to keeping all our great players.

  33. nahcouldntbethat says: Jun 15, 2011 9:42 PM

    This is going to be Part II of screw the small market teams. They couldn’t really manage under the old deal but if the new deal forces them to spend like they’re in a mid-sized market without greatly expanding revenue sharing among the teams then it’s just about over for the smallest markets in the NFL.

    No way Buffalo holds a team. Cincinnati might but barely. Jacksonville gone. Seattle and Miami dependent on very wealthy owners because they won’t be profitable enough to hold a team otherwise.

    It’s going to get ugly fast if this is the basis for the new deal.

  34. jimmedk says: Jun 16, 2011 1:34 AM

    Won’t this have quite a big effect on how the salary cap works?

    If they will be forced to spend a lot of money on free agents, some teams might not be able to cut a player because he will count too much agains the cap the following year, if he got a big signing bonus and have multiple years left on his contract.

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